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Circa 1820-1850

Derived from the model by Masanao of Kyoto, carved from an exquisite piece of ivory from the tip of a tusk, the nerve channel visible at the base of the neck and close to the larger himotoshi, the Shreger lines giving the impression of downy feathers, with attractive natural age cracks.
The feathers of the tail and wings are inked, the feet are carved in relief, the startled eyes are large inlays of dark horn, and together with the beak give a fair impression of the poor bird's plight.


With added signature of Masanao.


L. 4.9 cm across


Rolf Schmoll, Hamburg
With us, pre-2022

French ivory registration no. FR1907519196-D


Fukura Suzume literally means "puffed-up sparrow". Its meaning as a symbol of happiness is based on the homonym "fuku", which means both happiness and swelling. The invention of this type of netsuke probably goes back to Masanao from Kyoto. In the second half of the 18th century, he created such sparrows with funny heads, short, spread wings and raised tail feathers "as in the courtship display" (Brockhaus 1925, p. 440) both in ivory and boxwood. The bird therefore serves as a talisman for a happy life, getting better everyday.

Very Fine Netsuke of the bird Fukura Suzume

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